I sort of lost my thread with this story and got distracted when the second half of the series started, but this is the next chapter that I forgot about after writing. Anyway, I've just come across it so thought I'd post it. Enjoy...

Rory re-entered the room in which he had left River, Amy trailing behind, he had not once let go of her hand, knowing she wouldn't follow without that persuasion. After a glance around the room he spotted River doing something typically River-ish, he wasn't sure exactly what the point was to her exercise but she seemed be checking the various discarded weapons that littered the floor. Possibly looking for something useful to add to her own collection? Why did both women have this obsession with weapons? It certainly didn't help in these sort of situations, point a gun ask questions later, so very typical of...well, both of them actually.

"River?" it was impossible for her not to be aware of their presence, but Rory found it necessary to draw her attention as she continued with her task even as Rory and Amy reached her.

Looking down the barrel of the latest gun River replied in a tone very typical of how she usually would, in fact, to an outsider it would appear nothing had happened between them, "Yes?" she tossed the weapon aside, clearly not satisfied.

Rory now found that he had no idea what to say next, he had hoped something would just... Amy let go of his hand and stepped past him, he watched, surprised by her move.

"River," Amy began, unlike when Rory had spoken, River stopped immediately but didn't move from her position. A small silver object she was about to study lay forgotten in her palm as she waited to hear Amy's next words. "I'm sorry."

Staying still for another moment, River then came back into motion, preparing herself before turning back to Amy, "It's ok." Though she spoke honesty, she could tell Amy didn't believe her, but it would seem Amy didn't have the desire to argue further or even say another word as she stood there, never quite able to look at River, tired and broken.

River glanced to Rory for some sort of guidance but his eyes were resting on his wife, an odd sad look in his expression. As neither of them seemed to be very capable of doing anything much right now, River spoke up, "Maybe I should take you two home now?"

"No" all three of the jumped a little at the sudden rise in volume as Amy's reply came out stronger than she had intended, "I'm not finished here yet" she explained in a slightly apologetic tone, before heading off out of sight.

Rory watched puzzled then nodded to River for them to follow, eventually they reached what seemed to be a research room and stood by the door watching as Amy began to rummage through papers, empty draws, pretty much ransacking the room, apparently unaware of her audience. Finally, Rory interrupted her, "Amy" he said softly.

"No, Rory, there has to be something here..." a frown developed as she began to scan through the paper work, not one word making sense, "River, you know this kind of stuff...what does it mean, what does it say?"

River watched sadly, not replying until Amy looked up at her, her eyes demanding a response, "Amy, you know I can't..."

"Then why are you here!" Amy shouted, throwing the papers out of sight before her attention was quickly back on task.

Rory stepped forward about to speak until River tugged him back, encouraging him to follow her out of the room. Once outside she shut the door behind them. "She doesn't mean it" he began.

River shook her head, "Yes she does, of course she does and that's ok" she added before Rory could interrupt her, "I think it would be best to just get her home now, she'll come to terms with it in her own time."

"But what about you?" Rory asked, he somehow sounded hurt, or perhaps it was concern.

"You'll see me again" River smiled, a little too convincingly like her usual self.

He considered her for a second, waiting for the mask to drop but she was a professional at this kind of thing so finally he made his own attempt, "But you won't see us? We won't know who you are?"

That did it. The sadness immediately returned to River's eyes, "I always knew this day was coming..."

"That doesn't mean it should. That doesn't mean you should accept it" River smiled, her dad had always been her strength.

"No. Maybe someday I'll get an impossible miracle and see my parents one more time..."

"You can count on it" Rory smiled, he knew he'd find a way to make it happen, and so did she.

A moment passed before River spoke again, "But for now..." the sadness had returned, though she tried to hide it, she almost looked as though she would continue, but no words came.

Rory knew what she was thinking, but this wasn't good enough. How could he go on to find Melody and get to know her knowing this would one day be the result; knowing that one day his daughter would be abandoned by those she needed the most. Children should eventually lose their parents, but not like this, they should be able to go on knowing how loved they were, not like this. He spoke suddenly as though his thoughts had crept through to reality, "I'm going to speak to Amy... could you give us a few minutes?"

"Of course" she smiled, assuming Amy would need to be coaxed into the idea of leaving, and so made her way back in the direction they had come.

Rory watched until River was out of sight, not for any particular reason, just in awe. Then he returned to find Amy still intent on her mission, without a moment's hesitation he pulled her around to face him, needing her full attention. "Amy, we need to talk..." she shook her head and tried to turn away, but Rory persisted, "I know this is hard, it is for me too, but Melody has to come first, right?" she nodded, he had her full attention with the mention of their daughter's name, "She needs you, River can't stick around forever and it can't end like this..."

Amy tried to pull away, she wasn't interested in anything he had to say about River, her only concern was finding baby Melody, but Rory took charge this time, "No. You have to listen to this because our little girl is out there somewhere and she is going to be raised by God only knows who..."

"No." Amy fought against him, "Don't, please don't..."

Rory ignored her pleas, though his own eyes matched the tears of his wife, "...And there is nothing we can do about it. But we will find her..." Amy's struggles slowed slightly, "sometime, somehow, we will find our daughter and we will be there for her. But she is never going to have a normal life..." it was Rory's turn to falter, now barely holding onto Amy as she listened silently, the occasional tear flowing down her cheek, "she is going to grow up with parents who know her less every time she sees them. I know we are going to love her Amy, we already do, and she'll know that, I know she will because we'll make sure of it...but one day..." his voice broke with a slight sob, closing his eyes for a moment to steady himself, Rory continued, "...one day Melody is going to meet us, and we won't know who she is...and she is going to have to tell us that we're her parents... How do you want her to remember us?" he asked the final question slowly and softly.

Amy's hands had slowly clasped together and reached up to where she had been sobbing into them as Rory's speech had continued and she had begun to really understand for the first time. But now she simply stood in shock and thought, almost in a trance, not even her tears fell now.

Time once again seemed to stand still. Rory began to worry he may have pushed too far too soon as he watched his wife stood frozen, her eyes glazed over, until suddenly, yet slowly she walked towards the door. Rory watched confused as she headed down the hallway at a steady yet firm pace. Finally snapping himself back into reality, he decided to follow, remembering the last time he left Amy unsupervised.

Amy made her way back through the hallways, she hadn't been paying attention when River left but seeing as how she wasn't waiting in the immediate hallway leading from the room that had just been victim to her own rage, she assumed River must have headed back to where the battle had been lost. To the cot. To where Melody had... No, she couldn't let herself think anymore. It hurt too much and if she thought, she would stop and if she stopped, she wouldn't start again and if she didn't keep moving, she would never reach River, and if she didn't reach River... No, she had to keep walking, not thinking. But Melody, River... She still couldn't believe it, but she had to, for Melody. Rory was right, but she really didn't want to face River, but she wasn't doing this for herself, she had to do this for Melody's sake.

The door was in view, the door Rory had stood behind and pleaded with her for their daughter's life, the door she had ran through to escape from River, the door the Doctor had burst through too late... Now she was entering through it again, her pace slowed but she knew she couldn't stop. River was on the far side of the room, sat on one of the many crates with one leg wedged under neither her, facing away from Amy and pointlessly picking at the wood with the blade of a knife. As she approached, Amy could see an unnerving sense of defeat in River that she had never seen before, in fact she actually looked lost and vulnerable, and so very unlike herself. Somehow this helped, and though still reluctant Amy found she no longer needed to force herself forward.